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caryatid23

Operations Server Mission Building Instructions

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Hello!

 

The Operations Server is about to go live.  To give some context; the server essentially has a decision system that gives a wider AI than provided by the units themselves. This lets groups of differing or similar units behave together in a manner that is also re-active to the environment and happenings. How it works will be in some future updates. For now we are going to discuss how to use the system to build your own missions or to simply have a better understanding of what is going on. The fundamental commands that are issued by this system to its modules ( collections of units ) and the signals the system can receive back from its units are described in the videos below. 

 

First video: Overview

 

 

 

Oh looks like it'll be a few minutes before higher resolutions are available

Edited by caryatid23
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Very cool stuff...though it's a little confusing on what exactly the mission framework is. In simplest terms, is it like a giant AI ambient war with supply and strength levels? How many AI are up in the air at one time and how many people have you tested this with online at once?

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@Jason Thanks!

 

@AbortedMan Thanks too -- The ambiguity is deliberate but totally confusing: sorry about that. Next video will show the specifics on those questions.  In short, The system that does the thinking is separate from any units what-so-ever. Meaning it will, albeit more predictably, run with no units at all. It is just a command system that sends and remembers commands to 8 different interfaces categorized as [ Russian Air1, Russian Air2, Russian Ground1, Russian Ground2 ] x2 for the Germans. Those interfaces can have no units at all or lots of units; provided they connect via the API;

Messages from the system:  [ Start/Stop, Aggressive, Defensive, Run, Imporove, Weaken, Special1, Special2, ]

Messages to the system [ Special 1, Special 2, Run ]

 

So, each of the groups up there with actual units is removable, copy-able, movable to another of the 8 interfaces, or replaceable by something new. 

The mission shown being built in the second video has 4 groups w/ aircraft AI ( 2 german, 2 russian ). Those groups combined can put out a total of ~ 20 ai aircraft which does run pretty hot at moments if there are more than 10 people on the mission. In the next video [ aiming for posting today ] I'll show removing the AI aircraft and adding lots more ground units to a mission for a more traditional multi set-up. 

 

To directly answer:

```In simplest terms, is it like a giant AI ambient war with supply and strength levels?```

It is like a command center that remembers all the commands it has given out and the messages coming back from its units. It uses that information to determine what commands to send out next.

 

```How many AI are up in the air at one time and how many people have you tested this with online at once? ```

For the above mission, specifically, when all unit groups are at max: 

40 tanks

20 on road units

~100 artillery units

20 aircraft 

150 some entitied statics

It should be noted that maximum unit numbers only really occur when there are no mulitplayers online. With people out their shooting stuff the numbers will be lower, but the spawn rate a bit higher.

For the above set-up specifically I've only tested with 7 multiplayers and the server ranged from 36 SPS at lowest to 50 SPS. Generally around 44 SPS.

 

But you can make a mission that has no AI aircraft and only 200 tanks if you wanted.  As I work through these videos I'll end up creating a few "MissionPacks" which will be different collection of units that really only need

to be placed to get a mission going. Some packs will have lots of AI aircraft, some not-so-much, different kinds of units, and different balance will be common.

 

I'm sure this not a complete enough answer. I will get recording after the ole-jobby job today.

 

Dave

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Right on. Thanks for the explanation. Is it possible to add other objectives or is there an obvious space for linking "free-hand" (from a mission creator's pov) objectives to ground unit kills or ground units entering an area? Your system seems extremely robust...I'm wondering how easy it is to add to objective-wise.

 

Oh, and did I hear you say you got loadouts working on the server...As in you can lock loadouts/weapons choices for players or did you mean airfield loadouts of aircraft availability tables? I can't seem to get locking weapons working on our server using the sds.

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~S~ Caryatid23,

 

This is pure, unadulterated, Mission Editor pron. You've taken Logic to another level. And then shared it. S!

 

Thumbs_Up_Star.png

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Dave,

 

I moved this to the Mission Making forum. It's a little more appropriate.

 

Jason

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Great job Caryatid, will take a look at the videos as soon as possible.

 

Brillant work, thanks!!

 

Just pinned this topic since it will be very usefull for mission builders.

Edited by SYN_Haashashin
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~S~ Caryatid23,

 

This is pure, unadulterated, Mission Editor pron. You've taken Logic to another level. And then shared it. S!

 

Thumbs_Up_Star.png

+1000 Looking forward to the go live. S~

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Well I only got as far as the first video and its an amazing piece of work. Have to get back to work but want to go through the rest and try it out as well.

Cheers

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This looks really cool, have you been able to compile a set of missions together as a single player campaign ? It kinda seems like it would be better to run this as a single mission in mp online with a half dozen or more players coop against the AI.

 

Definitely a step in the right direction for this sim and makes me consider getting BOM if the mission production evolves like this.

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Hey there -- 

 

Thanks!

 

 

@Skoop. Currently working on a 3 part campaign; where objectives within the mission are dependent on events in the mission and the results of the mission determine what mission happens next. At the same time; i'm tuning for performance to squeeze as many units as possible into these.  One stage of the campaign's set will be going up in just about an hour. It will have the German's crossing the Don river then trying to push past Russian defenses around the Kalach airbase.  The perf work has been intensive and changed some fundamental components of the system; which is why i've been quiet for the last week. That said, the videos above are not invalidated. System is still the same concepts, just leaner and faster.

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Sounds great, how about a high intensity version for those of us with beefy systems and a low intensity for those who don't ?

 

I remember reading that's why the campaign seemed so spars because they programmed for the lowest common denominator system.

 

But then again, the direct x9 32bit BOS might be so inefficient that it would kill anyone's system at a certain threshold of units which I suspect might be the case.

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Hey Skoop -- This is speculation, but it is informed speculation: I think for multiplayer the bottleneck of performance w/ increased unit number is the network, not CPU or GPU.  CPU is definitively a bottleneck in some situations ( I'm looking at you He-111 ), but I can put more AI aircraft up in single player than in multi. Also, in general ( not specific to BoS ) , when the network or the system for marshaling state cannot keep up you get "rubber banding". Essentially rubber banding ( again this to a general game situation not specific to BoS ) is your game client and the other clients + server having different state values: position and orientation of unit in this case. The rubber banding effect is those differing values converging.  It is rubber banding in multi that I see, and I see it waaaaaay before I see the effects of too much computation. Generally,  in 3d games, GPU issues are a "lag" or long stutter and are exacerbated by viewer position and direction of view as they are related to what is being rendered currently. CPU issues are generally a stable ( more consistent than gpu issues ) stutter or slowdown feeling. So for multiplayer, I do not think that there is anything a mega beefcake machine could do to compensate for the performance bottleneck.  

 

More rampant speculation:

on Dx9:  I do not think that dx9 has much to do with perf issues. This game is very very different from other games in architecture, mostly in that the CPU is heavily used. It should be stressed that it *needs* to be CPU: there is no consumer level specialized physics processor.  PhysX is absolutely worthless for flight sims as it only supports a few optimized calculations ( they may even be look-up table based which would be terrible for something at the scale of a flight sim ).  The Physics of RoF and BoS are what make the game stand-out and make the 'flight sim' part of it so convincing. The Physics, as stated, must be done in the CPU which is an unfortunate fact as physics calculations are true functions, and thus inherently vectoriz-able ( It is primarily this ability to vectorize that makes GPU's so amazing at rendering 3d scenes ). I, personally, would hate to see the physics go just for more units. But that's a personal thing: I want a *flight simulator* not  a *war simulator*.  At the current stage of technology they are mutually exclusive.

 

on 32bit: Changing to x64 may add gains, but like d9 I doubt it.  To gauge that I'd need to look at actual code. x64, in general again, gives 2 primary benefits both as fallout from a larger address space. The first is simple, but not often relevant or significant in its gains for games. That is that more can be put into memory initially requiring less frequent disk access for assets.   Most games can fit all their currently needed assets into the 32-bit space; especially as textures ( and sometimes other elements ) go into the graphics card's memory. So for games x64 is often no gain on this advantage.  The other advantage is more complicated: It is specific to methodologies, or algorithms. For example the merge sort is often used when you have more data to sort than you can put in memory at once. So you end up sorting some of it in memory, putting that to disk, sorting more in memory, putting that to disk, repeat as necessary then merge all sorted bits that are on disk. x64 raises the amount of memory so the merge sort ( and other similar algorithms ) are required less frequently. I don't know without the code, but I really doubt that BoS ( or many other games at all ) are actually doing any single computations on data sets that are too large to fit in the 32bit address space. 

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Thank you for typing all of that. It should be plastered and stickied all over these forums to educate the folks screaming for DirectX# and 64-bit only wanting it because it "goes one louder".

 

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Anything in the works ? I haven't seen the op server up lately.

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Hey All!

 

So sorry to be out-of-band for a couple weeks. Had a bit of a family thing pull me out of town and away from computers, perish the thought. 

 

I'll be back on Wed the 27th and should have the server back up by Friday at the latest. 

 

Thanks for your patience!

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Glad your back.  Looking forward to next week.  S~

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Hey all!  Again apologies for the delay on this server. After my break with the family; I thought of some good ways to improve both the performance of the logic systems and to really lessen the complexity.  I've got that stuff in testing now, and am aiming to release an re-open the server w/ this new set-up in just a couple days. 

 

I'll add a new video too, as the system is sooooooo much easier to use now. 

 

Everybody has been so patient, and that's good cause this stuff takes a long time to get right :)

 

See you in the virtual sky!

Dave

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~S! Caryatid,

 

What you have done is fascinating to myself, the possibilities it shows, is off the hook, and I'm looking forward to it's implementation.

 

"Skoop" has encouraged me to start posting my own works, on my own thread, and considering the importance of showing you them, I shall.

 

I've self taught myself methods of making very involved, non-stop action, Ai filled to the brim, Multiplayer Missions that show BoS "at it's best".

 

If we could integrate what I have already accomplished, with a 60% knowledge of the ME's capabilities, and what you have done with the logics...

 

The ground would be the only limit.

 

I'm going now to re-re polish what I've done, and make it bearable for me to release, for review and consumption, by the five of us that write missions currently.

 

Looking forward for the opportunity, if ever, of conspiring with you directly, to take BoS into directions that are absolutely essential in escalating the player base.

 

 

Thank you for your efforts!!!,

 

!S -Jupp- :salute: a.k.a. Joe

Edited by Jupp
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~S! Caryatid,

 

What you have done is fascinating to myself, the possibilities it shows, is off the hook, and I'm looking forward to it's implementation.

 

"Skoop" has encouraged me to start posting my own works, on my own thread, and considering the importance of showing you them, I shall.

 

I've self taught myself methods of making very involved, non-stop action, Ai filled to the brim, Multiplayer Missions that show BoS "at it's best".

 

If we could integrate what I have already accomplished, with a 60% knowledge of the ME's capabilities, and what you have done with the logics...

 

The ground would be the only limit.

 

I'm going now to re-re polish what I've done, and make it bearable for me to release, for review and consumption, by the five of us that write missions currently.

 

Looking forward for the opportunity, if ever, of conspiring with you directly, to take BoS into directions that are absolutely essential in escalating the player base.

 

 

Thank you for your efforts!!!,

 

!S -Jupp- :salute: a.k.a. Joe

 

 

Hey all!  Again apologies for the delay on this server. After my break with the family; I thought of some good ways to improve both the performance of the logic systems and to really lessen the complexity.  I've got that stuff in testing now, and am aiming to release an re-open the server w/ this new set-up in just a couple days. 

 

I'll add a new video too, as the system is sooooooo much easier to use now. 

 

Everybody has been so patient, and that's good cause this stuff takes a long time to get right :)

 

See you in the virtual sky!

Dave

 

Great news!  Looking forward to it very much.  Thanks again guys for all you're hard work for the community. :salute:  

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Going semi-live* w/ a testing mission.

 

All new system. Super easy to make your own missions with it. Videos to come shortly.

 

 

*Server may go down at any time. 

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I cannot seem to edit the top post on this thread; but the previous videos are obsolete.

 

Welcome to the Afterfuture: 

 

Video describing how to actually make a mission with objectives coming soon.

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Cool, not that I know how to use anything in the editor, but more tools in the toolbox box for the guys that do means more missions for all of us to fly.

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Here is a video showing some details of the more core components. 

 

This is about the modules you can just drop in and trigger the "activate" timer.

 

 

Edited by caryatid23
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This video takes those core components from the previous video and initializes a `phase` of battle.

 

 

 

Next up will be composing those `phases` into continuous battle that moves across objectives based events.

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Here is the initial `phases` video. Little shorter this time :P

 

This demonstrates setting up the overarching progression of the mission:

 

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Awesome work!!! Thanks for sharing.  Can't wait to try some of the involved missions based on your groups. It would be nice if there was a way to randomize the different levels and units for replay-ability.   :salute:

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Hey There. Thanks Hooves!!

 

Toxin, thanks too! -- randomness is already built in on levels/unit types. It's optional; but suggested. Prolly should have mentioned it; but didn't want to muddy the waters. So when you use this stuff; each of the `levels` of each of the units will initialize at one of it's 4 levels randomly. From there is the built in variation is via units shifting levels and whole phases of the battle shifting to other goals by way of events in the missions. Since those events will be different each mission; even w/o the randomness the battle plays out differently each run.

 

 

Another video coming up later today. Also The server will be unlocked in a few hours ( or less ). Even when locked anyone can join. Password is "temp"

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Here's: nothing to a working mission with 2 phases in just a few minutes.

 

 

I'll have this mission up for a bit -- it's pretty generic but lets you see what's going on and gives lots of targets.

 

Next up we will begin fleshing out the mission started in the previous videos.

Edited by caryatid23
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As a suggestion. What this needs now is a Gui. A way to implement these options in the text editor by way of a front end. I mean I understand the "idea" of what you are building here but was admittedly lost about 2 minutes into your new videos.

 

I know the front end GUI is not your bag. But maybe an effort to recruit such a soul might be VERY worth it to the community?

 

Again just a suggestion.

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Hooves: No doubt. A front end would be ideal and the design does have that in mind; that's part of the encapsulation of the units.  Essentially to get a group of similar game units working together; you need only drag in the big box, place the units and waypoints [ that are already wired up ] if you like, and hit the "Activate" trigger. That means that a front end need only do the same. The gui logic would only have to mess with ( its `domain` in nerd parlance ) the placement of units and setting a few trigger style links in the .mission file. 

For people less interested in all the dirt, grit, and nonsense above  there is a video coming out shortly that just explains how to play the mission. Also the video above: 

 is considre-ably less detailed; very high level.

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